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Lewinsky bid for $1.16 million rejected

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Monica S. Lewinsky
Bill Clinton
Judiciary (system of justice)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A federal appeals court Tuesday ruled that Monica Lewinsky should not be reimbursed for $1.16 million in legal fees related to an independent counsel investigation of President Bill Clinton's affair with the former White House intern.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, which has jurisdiction for independent counsel cases, ruled that Lewinsky failed to meet the requirements to be reimbursed by U.S. taxpayers.

The Ethics in Government Act provides for reimbursements of attorneys fees by people who have defended themselves against an investigation under the act. But reimbursement is only allowed when the person is the subject of the independent counsel's investigation, if they incurred the fees during the investigation and would not have incurred them otherwise.

Lewinsky, whose affair with Clinton ultimately led to his impeachment, had asked the court for $1.16 million she said she incurred during the independent counsel's investigation into the scandal.

She said she should be reimbursed because there would have been no investigation into perjury and other allegations against her if it had not involved the president.

But the court disagreed and said Lewinsky could have been probed by the Justice Department even if the independent counsel had not been investigating the matter.

The court also noted arguments by the independent counsel that Lewinsky initially refused an immunity deal and accumulated more than $800,000 in attorneys fees before negotiating a deal she agreed to.

Since news of Lewinsky's dalliance with Clinton broke, leading to his 1998 impeachment and later acquittal by the U.S. Senate, Lewinsky has designed handbags and, most recently, hosted a reality TV show.

Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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